Sunday, December 18, 2011

A lesson on Things

Tis the season...

for family
white sparkly lights
peppermint mocha
secret surprises
and countless more...

It is most importantly the season of humility. A corner of this world received Love's Greatest Gift, in the unloveliest of places. Matted hay crunched underfoot, as a young, weary woman made her way into the barest of birthing rooms. Her beloved anxiously watched, waited, and wondered. Nothing could he do, as the miracle of life unfolded. Just as had happened years long before and would continue for years long after, a joyous new life tore through the pain of another, from one world to the next. The young father's eyes glisten; his heart beats in time with the son.

The little family of three huddle close together. Splintered wood beams overhead spill starlight on swaddling clothes, cocooning Love's greatest gift. The young mother kisses the baby's forehead, tenderly blessing the boy with all a mother's hopes and dreams. The father silently watches this miracle, secretly plotting adventures climbing trees, skipping rocks, and proud walks through town.

This season. A season that marks our need for Grace and God's response. A season that is cause for rejoicing, yet brings such bittersweet moments, too.

During this Christmas time, do you find yourself forgetting the humility? Do you find yourself searching for Things?

the perfect tights to match the sweater dress for Christmas Eve...
the newest cell phone accessory...
the prettiest shade of blue ribbon to match the burlap on your tree...

None horrible, but all things...

I have a Thing that has caused me to lose sight of the humility. My Thing was a nativity scene, which is somewhat ironic. A beautiful rendition, simple and elegant, of Love's Greatest Gift. Rusted stars backdropped the blue-green stable, and the faceless figurines looked crafted with love. It was a Willow Tree ensemble, and I loved it.

It no longer is in my Christmas decor; it now lives in another home, but it is being enjoyed all the same. This season of life finds me in a place I never thought I would be. I never dreamed I would be strategizing how to divide time with my child over Christmas break. I never thought I'd have an empty pillow next to me at night, and I never thought I'd miss ice cold feet tickling my sweaty ones. I thought this only happened to "other people", never someone like me. I always thought the rocking chair beside mine when I'm old and gray would hold the man that I promised myself to 6 years ago. I never thought I'd be splitting up the contents of my home, trying to fairly decide what dishes go where and which printer should stay and what to do with all these mongrams and where to put my bridal portrait and sobbing over ornaments that say "Our First Christmas" and wondering why I wasn't worth fighting for.

But, when I think of all this, I am missing the moment of humility. I'm focusing on things.

The space that held the Willow Tree nativity set was empty for about 3 hours. I couldn't stand it. It felt like my heart...all bare and raw and in need of a reason to feel important. So, like any good crafter would do, I ripped apart another book.

My nativity scene is painfully humble. The paper is frayed in some parts...The stable is leaning ever so slightly forward and may fall if it gets bumped. For crying out loud, it is held up by toilet paper rolls wrapped in book pages.

It is still just a thing. It doesn't begin to compare to the set I had before that held so many memories. Yet, I look at it and remember the reason for Love's Greatest Gift. For all of us, just as frayed as the book pages, need to be swaddled in grace. We need to know we were and are worth fighting for.

Tis the season of humble holiness.

Merry Christmas, dear ones.


Hailey @ Me and My Boys said...

Anna, you aren't just seasoned with grace. You are a woman of grace. Your writing is beautiful and the way you're handling yourself is even more reason to know that you ARE worth fighting for. You are so loved. {{big hugs}}

The Ranieri Family said...

I love you so much!!

Delia said...

you are such a beautiful woman. When God takes one man away it is because He has someone better for you. Trust in His faithfulness. I don't think this will be difficult for you, for you show a spirit of grace in your daily walk. Merry Christmas. Delia

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bethy said...

"He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory."

I KNOW you. So I know the best is yet to come. You are so loved and treasured, beautiful girl.